As the General Manager of Answers in Genesis–US and the staff member responsible for the Creation Museum rezoning process for the ministry, I have seen more than a fair share of mud slinging from opponents of our museum over the last five years.
The latest attempt to fight the Creation Museum project near Cincinnati, Ohio, has taken the “mud” to a new level! Wednesday I was contacted by a reporter with the Kentucky Post, who was writing a story about our wastewater treatment plant (the news must be a little slow around here!). The interview quickly turned into a very hostile interrogation by an overly aggressive environmentalist—with an attitude and an agenda!
Most of our local reporters have been fair and balanced in their reporting of the museum project over the years, and have seemed to report accurate information without any twisting, but this “environmental beat” reporter already had her mind made up and her story written. She was not at all interested in whatAiG had to say, or what the Kentucky Division of Water officials had to say or what the Kentucky regulations had to say. Sadly, but typically for the liberal press, her story reflected her pre-judgment and her biased agenda. The article was written after the State Division of Water submitted public notice of its intent to approve the proposed facility pending public comment.
We are pleased to be able to respond in detail to correct this misleading Post article (June 14). Answers in Genesis and our team of professional engineers and architects have, to date, met or exceeded every requirement set before us by the governing authorities of the county and state.
The public notice was submitted as part of the normal state approval process after we had submitted our plan which complied with all requirements for the proposed treatment system. The inflammatory beginning of the Post article might lead one to mistakenly believe thatAiG would be dumping sewage into one of Kentucky’s highest quality streams (which would degrade the stream’s rating). The truth is that the state of Kentucky has held AiG“s proposed system to the highest standards applied to a private treatment facility and our treated water will not affect the high quality of the downstream tributary. That is the obvious purpose of treatment.
According to the State Division of Water, a typical treatment system would have required only a fraction of the purification capabilities that have been designed into AiG“s system. The “exceptional water” classification given by the Kentucky Division of Water, means that this stream is clean enough to have a certain level of bugs living in or on it. The test is based on the stream’s existing macroinverterbrate index score (measurement of type and number of bugs present), which will continue to be maintained after AiG“s system is in operation. The classification does not prohibit the use of a treatment system upstream but rather ensures that the approved system would be held to the highest degree of purification required by the state for a private system in order to maintain the classification.
Currently, there are a number of cities in Kentucky that discharge their treated sewage into streams classified as “exceptional water” so AiG is not alone in successfully conforming to the very restrictive requirements for such a system. It should also be noted that the existing watershed that feeds the “exceptional water” includes several residences with only septic systems to handle their raw sewage, and pastureland with grazing cattle, so this “exceptional water” isn’t even safe for us to drink until it is purified.
Although additional system design efforts have been very costly, Answers in Genesis is proud of the ecological benefits of the planned system. Our staff, made up of local residents, plans to make the site in Boone County, Kentucky our permanent home office. Therefore, we are appropriately concerned and dedicated to making certain that the proposed treatment system is environmentally friendly—in accordance with Biblical principles of good stewardship regarding all the resources God has given us.
Our system includes redundancy of all treatment units which means that two identical treatment systems will be constructed as a fail-safe measure, as well as a backup generator in case of power failure. In an effort to ensure the continued proper operation of the proposed facility, AiG is presently formalizing an agreement with the local Sanitation District to turn our system over to their professional staff to operate and maintain. All of this will effectively allow us to operate with no harmful impact to our stream, and guarantee that it will remain as an “exceptional water” resource for the future.
Answers in Genesis has met all of the requirements of the State Division of Water, it is hoped that future articles about AiG’s plans would be more balanced and be truly written out of legitimate concern for the environment (which we as Bible-believing Christians should all share) and not for some personal agenda against Biblical Christian values.